- The Fresh Market plans for a second year in a row to honor Women’s History Month by spotlighting products from women-run businesses, according to a press release on Wednesday.
- The gourmet grocery chain plans to mark more than 100 products from brands like Jeni’s Ice Cream, Ethel’s Baking Co. and snack company Hail Merry with signage throughout the month, along with spreading the word on social media. On International Women’s Day, March 8, the stores will have free cupcakes for female shoppers.
- The Fresh Market’s announcement comes at a time when grocery stores are ramping up their efforts to work with and highlight more diverse suppliers.
Fresh Market's announcement follows similar initiatives from retailers, including Kroger and Target, for Black History Month in February. Target, for example, added an online icon to the product details for items from a Black-owned or -founded brand. Other grocers have recently started highlighting brands women-, minority- and locally-owned companies year-round.
In January, Giant Food started updating labels on its shelves, website and mobile app to highlight products from women- and minority-owned businesses. Meanwhile, Schnuck Markets started a supplier diversity initiative in late 2020 to increase its work with local suppliers that are at least 51%-owned, operated and managed by individuals that are "disabled, LGBT, military veterans, minorities and/or women.”
The signage and social media efforts planned for women-owned brands are part of a broader push by The Fresh Market’s push to better market its products. Earlier this year, the upscale specialty grocer, which operates 159 stores across 22 states, launched a print and digital monthly magazine to showcases products coupled with meal inspiration and company employees featured as “influential tastemakers.” The company has also been having its personal grocery shoppers include product recommendations in hand-written, personalized thank you notes to shoppers.